Pages tagged "Trade"

  • The Brexit Effect: "We couldn’t ship anything to the EU."

    Public opinion is shifting, and the media are starting to talk seriously about how badly Brexit is affecting the UK economy. 

    With over 4 million views already, the new film from the FT – The Brexit effect: how leaving the EU hit the UK – is a landmark investigation into how Brexit has affected the UK economy. This in-depth film demonstrates just how badly Brexit is hurting the UK economy.  

    “Six years after the UK voted to leave,” writes the FT, “the effect has become clear. In this film, senior FT writers and British businesspeople examine how Brexit hit the UK economy, the political conspiracy of silence, and why there has not yet been a convincing case for a 'Brexit dividend'.” 

    In the film, the FT examines how Brexit hit wages, made imports more expensive and, as exports didn’t become more price competitive, “The immediate cost (of Brexit) was about £870 per household.” All whilst “Business investment has been growing in all G7 countries, except in the UK.” 

    On top of this, Brits now have the worst access to healthcare in Europe and the UK is forecast to have the lowest economic growth of any major economy aside from Russia

    This is why we are ramping-up our efforts to reverse the calamity of Brexit and rebuild the UK’s economy through restoring our relationship with Europe. Step-by-step we will make this happen. 

    In the film, we hear from numerous small business-owners whose companies have been severely impacted by Brexit – such as husband and wife team Rob and Vicky Walker (co-founders of Little Star Jewellery) and Kiran Tawadey (founder of Hampstead Tea Company).  

    Kiran told of how “The reality was that January to June (2021) we couldn’t ship anything to the EU, nothing... and we were treated as a third country.” 

    Whilst Vicky spoke about “We were doing really well in The Netherlands and in Spain. All of that has just disappeared.” 

    With the reality that the ‘Majority of Brits now regret Brexit’, now – more than ever - we want to hear from you.

    We are working step-by-step to reverse the calamity of Brexit and campaigning for the UK to rejoin the EU when the political conditions are right. We are strictly cross-party and represent voices from across the political spectrum. As such, testimonials are crucial to shaping our campaign work. 

    Do you have a similar story? If so, get in touch and let us know your Brexit story at [email protected]. Your words help to build a more accurate picture of how Brexit is affecting the UK, sector by sector, region by region and home by home.  

    This way we can keep bringing together the evidence that Brexit isn't working. 

    Only together can we reverse this calamity. 

  • The UK government must protect environmental standards in new trade deals

    We need to force the UK government to protect environmental and animal welfare standards in post-Brexit trade deals before it is too late, writes European Movement CEO Anna Bird.

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  • New Trade Secretary, same rotten agenda

    As a new Trade Secretary is appointed, farmer Andrew Brown highlights the risks of the government's trade agenda.

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  • From fishing fleets to breweries, companies in the north-east face ruin under the Brexit deal

    European Movement UK Vice-President Joyce Quin writes about the problems facing companies in north-east England that export to the EU and are facing ruin under the Brexit deal...

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  • Eight weeks of a bad Brexit deal

    As the weeks roll by, Brexit just gets worse and worse and worse.

    We’re now two months into this bad Brexit deal, and the consequences are being felt up and down the country. In fact, there are so many businesses, people and communities that have been affected it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of them all.

    Here is a brief run-down of some of the biggest impacts of Brexit so far:

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  • Eight weeks of Brexit: Eight people’s stories

    Brexit is having a huge impact on people’s lives, businesses and communities. We’re just a couple of months into Brexit and already there are so many stories of the damage Brexit is doing – here are eight of the most shocking:

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  • Let's make a noise for musicians losing out after Brexit

    In Love With The Shape Of EU

    From Ed Sheeran and Brian May to Sir Elton John and Sting, more than a hundred of the biggest names in UK music this week joined forces to speak up and speak out against the government’s failure to secure post-Brexit visa-free arrangements for touring musicians that will enable them to perform throughout the EU.

    Breaking Down Barriers

    Under the Brexit deal, there will be more red tape for musicians as there will for everyone, whenever they transport goods into the EU, provide services or do both as in this case. There will be more paperwork, more searches of goods and more delays in crossing borders. These new tariffs and barriers for touring the EU will not only affect the performers and have immediate costs for the economy, but will also impact Britain’s cultural reputation and risk our position as a world leader in music, hurting us in the long term.

    Freedom (Of Movement)

    The issue of touring visas is only one of many hurdles when it comes to musicians and performers. The loss of freedom of movement is not just disastrous for UK citizens trying to earn a living in the EU, but for EU citizens working in the UK, now and in the future. For example, more than 20 per cent of musicians in some orchestras are from EU countries. Some of those EU citizens may not be able to secure settled status by the June 30 deadline, and musicians of the future will find it even harder to work in the UK.

    Don't Stop Me Now

    The problem of cabotage, meanwhile, will impact the ability of performers to cross multiple borders in a single tour. Under the new rules, hauliers carrying touring equipment around the EU will be limited to just two additional stops before returning to the UK, with the amount of time a British artist can spend in any of the 26 EU countries being determined by national law. Performers may require individual visas for each member state and could face £350 permits for individual instruments and other equipment. (The Common Travel Area means the rules for UK musicians travelling to Ireland are different).

    The Taxman's Taken All My Dough

    The limit on how many stops a touring lorry can make in the EU will be a major barrier to touring musicians who rely on UK-based hauliers to transport music equipment across the union for tours, most of which will exceed the total allowance of three stops. Adding to the costs and complications is tax. “Cultural Exemption”, which enables exemption from VAT on admission charges for cultural events in the EU, is vital for touring performers, and will now be lost. This will make tours of the EU by UK artists less viable in future.

    Money Money Money

    We will all suffer if these issues are not resolved. As Horace Trubridge, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union, told the House of Lords European Union committee today, the music industry alone is worth £5.8 billion to the UK economy, with more than 100,000 jobs. The music industry is of greater net value than the fishing industry, which despite being only 0.02 per cent of the British economy received considerably more consideration during the Brexit negotiations.


    And it is not just fishing that has received more coverage over the last few years. Overall, the creative industries sector, worth £110 billion to the UK’s economy and the fastest-growing sector, employs 700,000 more people than the financial services sector, and is worth £8 billion more than the automotive sector.

    Danger Danger

    Established pop stars, up-and-coming young artists, orchestras, classical musicians (see here for some heart-breaking case studies), all will suffer under the new rules, their right to ply their trades and bring joy in peril. With many performers already struggling due to the ban on live music under coronavirus restrictions, these new post-Brexit costs and red tape may push some over the edge and out of business.

    Fight The Power

    We will continue to fight for them, and all affected sectors, to limit the damage done by Brexit and rebuild our relationships with the EU.

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  • Brexit Reality: How’s it looking?

    Brexit Reality: How’s it looking?

    Brexit One Week On

    A week ago the UK fully left the EU. The moment we all campaigned against, warned about and feared the consequences of became reality – and it’s every bit as bad as forecast.

    Here are just some examples of the impact of Brexit in just its first week:

    1. Several UK companies have paused trading with the EU and some have given up entirely
    2. Many EU businesses have stopped deliveries to UK customers because of Brexit
    3. €6 billion of EU share trading has moved away from the City and is lost for good
    4. The loss of passporting rights on January 1 has put the financial services sector (7% of the UK economy) at risk
    5. The cost of sending a package from the UK to the EU has risen dramatically - up by more than £100!
    6. New customs declarations mean more red tape and higher costs for UK businesses
    7. More costs, paperwork, delays and limits on travel to the EU, including a reduction in free healthcare and the return of roaming charges
    8. The UK on January 1 repealed the EU directive on cross-border tax arrangements, risking more tax avoidance and lower tax revenues
    9. British musicians touring Europe will now face increased costs and paperwork, and more red tape to cover equipment and crew
    10. Not Lovin (Brex)It! Due to supply chains following Brexit, there have already been food shortages, including at McDonald's

    The response of Brexiters to all this has, of course, been to bury their heads in the sand, ignore what’s actually been happening and try to claim some ‘Brexit bonuses’ – claims that, of course, fall apart, as outlined below.

    "Brexit Benefit" Claims v The Reality:

    • ‘Benefit’ 1: “Brexit has enabled UK to axe the ‘Tampon Tax’”

    Reality: The Free Periods campaign group said it was "misleading" for the UK government to say Brexit was necessary to eliminate VAT on menstrual products. Ireland does not have VAT on sanitary products, and an EU-wide ban will be implemented soon.

    • ‘Benefit’ 2: “Brexit means we can now ban Pulse Fishing”

    Reality: France and Belgium have already outlawed the practice in their territorial waters. The UK could have done the same when it was still a member of the EU. An EU-wide ban comes into force on July 1 2021.

    • ‘Benefit’ 3: “After Brexit we can have free ports”

    Reality: There are more than 80 special economic zones, or free ports, across the EU, so they could have been done pre-Brexit. And in any case, they are of limited value, and can often be a haven for money laundering and tax evasion.

    • ‘Benefit’ 4: “There will be no non-tariff barriers after Brexit”

    Reality: From English fish merchants and Scottish seafood exporters to hauliers crossing the Dover Straits, British businesses are unable to trade as smoothly as before, with new barriers meaning some companies will be unable to export at all and others are being turned away at ports.

    • ‘Benefit’ 5: “Because of Brexit, freed from EU rules, we were able to approve vaccines quicker”

    Reality: The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine approvals took place within the framework of EU rules, while the Moderna vaccine has already been approved by EU regulators - but because of Brexit, its availability in Britain will be delayed until April.

    This is a bad deal for Britain

    As the realities this week show, this bad deal for Britain leaves us in a worse position than we held as a member of the EU. It is the first ever trade deal to increase barriers to trade. It turns us into rule takers rather than rule makers. And we have lost our precious, life-changing rights to freedom of movement.

    If you want to find out more about what we have lost by leaving the EU, the EU has released this handy scorecard outlining the brutal reality of everything we have lost as a result of Brexit.

    If you are not already a member, please join, and help us build back our relationships with the EU and get back those rights we have lost:


    Please help us make our collective voice as loud as possible – share our Brexit Realities and ‘Brexit Bonus’ myth-busting blogpost with all your friends, family, and colleagues. Click below to share on:

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  • ‘We are leaving the club. No one asked us to go’ – History shows that Brexit will damage us all

    The personal and human relationships between us and our continental neighbours are priceless, writes Michael Heseltine, yet every abusive headline echoes across the channel

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  • The Brexit deal makes one thing clear – debate over our relationship with the EU is not over

    That debate will throw up the same question of how a deepened relationship can be created and maintained.

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